Balanced Living

Mother’s Day Rally Supporting Maternal Mental Health

Posted by Arja on May 9 in Women's Health

As a practitioner, my focus tends to be on balancing the hormones that contribute to overall health and wellbeing.  I work with a lot of women (that’s not to say I don’t work with men too!) and I’m passionate about women’s health.  The mental health of mothers in particular is something that strikes near and dear for me, so I’d like to step away from posting about nutrition for just a moment.

May is Maternal Mental Health month, and while I’m not usually one to jump on every support month bandwagon, this is different.  You may, or may not know that after the birth of my son in 2009 I suffered from a pretty severe bout of postpartum anxiety mixed with some postpartum depression.  I shared my experience on the website Postpartum Progress last August.  Since then I have realized that it’s important for me to keep talking about all this, because spreading information about postpartum mood disorders will help normalize it for other mothers who may be having similar experiences.

There is still a lot of stigma attached to mental health issues, yet so many people are struggling with them. This has to change.  As far as postpartum mood disorders are concerned, becoming a new mother is challenging enough without feeling like you’re falling apart at the seams and being too afraid to ask for help.

Sunday, May 12th, is the 5th annual Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health, featuring 24 letters from survivors of PPD, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD, depression after weaning and/or postpartum psychosis. Their purpose is to inform and encourage pregnant and new moms who may be struggling with their emotional health. The Rally is hosted by Postpartum Progress, the most widely-read blog in the world on postpartum depression and other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth.  I’m honoured that a letter that I’ve written will be featured alongside so many other talented, and passionate warrior moms.

For those of you who are wondering, I feel pretty good these days but my experience has left me a little more fragile than I used to be.  I’m sad that I feel like I missed out on the first year of my son’s life, but I don’t regret what we went through together.  It opened my eyes to just how connected we are and it’s made me very aware of the kind of mother I want to be and the kind of mother I don’t want to be.

Please stop by and read these letters, and share this with your friends and family.  There may be someone in your circle who could use this kind of support but has been too afraid to reach out and ask for it. 

If you’re on Twitter follow along using the hashtag #momsdayrally, and join in the conversation!

arja pennanen lytle c.n.p. n.n.c.p certified nutritional practitioner

Arja is a Holistic Nutritionist with a passion for balanced living. She loves to help people sleep better, think better, feel sexier, and just generally feel better by putting the focus on eating foods that make you feel good. Arja uses whole foods, lifestyle adjustments, herbs, and some supplements to help people feel their best and achieve their health and wellness goals.